Category Archives: Freddy Garcia

the Tigers may have been bad, but at least they're not the Lions

photo by Samara Pearlstein

Take comfort in that simple fact. Even the 2003 Tigers won SOME games, and they had fairly solid minor league development to fall back on. Of course there’s no equivalent to the minor leagues for the NFL, but the Lions’ history with high draft picks should assure you that, even if there WAS such a system, the Lions would fill it with utter fail. Anyways, my photos from the Thanksgiving Day Lions game are up over here, if you’re into that sort of thing.

In actual Tigers news:

Freddy Garcia’s shoulder says ‘ow’. His shoulder has said ‘ow’ before, to the point of requiring surgery on his labrum and rotator cuff, so while this could have just been run-of-the-mill soreness, I wouldn’t be too surprised if it was a continuation of past ills. Not that I was really counting on him for next season or anything, but it’s worth noting (I guess).

The Tigers are talking about Alex Cora? Uhhhhh. As a platoon with Santiago, I guess this is… not great, but not bad enough to make me want to stick my head in the oven. We would essentially be giving up all hope of making an offensive impact at the shortstop position, though. Are we really at that point of defeat? I was hoping not, but if they’re seriously considering this move…

That article also makes mention of the Jack Wilson rumors that have been dogging my sanity for, like, months. STOP IT ALREADY JEEZ.

The Tigers don’t want Julio Lugo anymore. I suppose this accounts for the Cora prattle. If we don’t want one Red Sox shortstop cast-off, we must want the other! IT IS ONLY LOGICAL. I will be happy if this is actually the case, because Julio Lugo was at no point something the Tigers should actually want if they want to give this whole ‘being good at baseball’ schtick a shot in ’09.

Casper Wells: he throws sausage. 100% of FACT.

Tigers’ charity self-congratulatory wankfest. Or heart-warming summary of the Tigers’ contributions to ‘Baseball’s Giving Spirit’, depending on your level of cynicism. Either way, click the link just to see the photo of Nate Robertson with his readin’ glasses on, all readin’ for the childrens.

Also, can someone explain to me why MLB articles tend to refer to our mascot as PAWS, in all caps? Why can’t he just be a normal guy with a normally capitalized proper noun kinda name? If it’s a branding thing I’m going to roll my eyes so hard they’ll probably fall out of my head.

If, however, it’s because you’re always supposed to read his name like you’re screaming it… well, I might be OK with that.

Happy New Years, Tigers (for certain values of 'happy')


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

How very appropriate that the last day of the Tigers’ season should coincide with (at least one group’s version of) New Years. As we rocket into the year 5769 we will jettison this past season into the Black Hole of the Past, never to be spoken of again, except for the several million times when I will bring it up.

A great many things have happened since we last spoke/remotely interacted via pixels. To help ease our transition into the new year, I will go over all these things. As many of them as I can immediately recall at the moment. Whatever.

We played the Wrong Sox in an ‘extra’ game. We lost.

On the one paw, it looks like Freddy Garcia was pitching OK, so mazel tov to Mr. Garcia, but on the other paw, apparently he came out with a spasmy injury? That’s not exactly the way you want to end the season, but at least he has a lot of time now to rest it, and it’s not as though we were exactly counting on his health/effectiveness for next year. (And if we were… oy.)

On the third paw, our hitting was terrible and our bullpen was terrible and Arrrrmando got tagged in relief with a stupid pointless loss. There was no upside to this game. None. Except for the fact that it was one additional day of Tigers baseball, and come January we’ll be fondly looking back on it for that reason and that reason alone.

Gary Sheffield did not get 500 homers.

He stalled out at 499. Barring catastrophic injury, he’ll trot on past that milestone next season. If he doesn’t do it in a Tigers uniform, I will probably be OK.

His entire family, through multiple generations, up in the Comerica box with all the signs, though… that was pretty unequivocally great.

Brandon Inge has been declared next season’s starting third baseman, and Carlos Guillen will move to left field.
This one caught me by surprise – I’d only just started to fully come around to the Brandon Inge as 2009 Catcher camp, and then WHAM, the sudden turnaround. I honestly don’t understand why this decision would be made (or publicly announced at this time) unless the Tigers had someone in mind for the ’09 catcher.

Like, even if they were thinking about it, why announce it now? Why not wait and see if you can get the catcher you want via free agency or trade or Dusty Ryan suddenly hitting baseball puberty? And then if you don’t get that guy, you still have Inge expecting to catch, and there’s no drama. By announcing this NOW, the Tigers have invited further drama should they attempt to move Inge back behind the plate yet again at some point between now and April. You see what I mean?

It’s also becoming increasingly obvious that Carlos Guillen’s body is falling apart before our very eyes. Morbidly fascinating, really. His ideal position very soon (if not already) will probably be DH, but the Tigs have plenty of elderly, heavy-batted fodder for that spot, so Guillen gets shunted around the field to try and figure out where he can do the least amount of damage. Sad.

Chuck Hernandez was fired.
I’m fairly ambivalent about this one. To return to our little cat’s feet: on the one paw, I don’t think Hernandez specifically was the Big Bad Main Problem here. He had nothing to do with guys getting old, and injuries like Bondo’s are nothing to do with any kind of pitching coach. But on this second paw… well, he had a LITTLE to do with this mess, perhaps in the sense that when stuff went wrong that he SHOULD have been able to do something about, he failed to do so.

Verlander… even putting aside the issues of arm fatigue and (over)use that arose this year, which are more strictly Leyland’s fault, you still have a guy pitching way, way off from his peak, and you have a pitching coach completely failing to get him back on track. You have a bullpen suffering from inconsistency so dire that if inconsistency was a bodily disease the entire ‘pen would have been hospitalized, and you have a pitching coach unable to do much of anything about that.

You have Joel Zumaya, a guy whose injury was probably not 100% preventable, but whose mechanics require much more close attention than they’re getting under Hernandez (or much more attention with knowledge about what to DO with that attention, in any event). Zoom’s one of those exotic pets, like an iguana or something, that require a very special set of supplies to thrive. He needs his appropriately-sized tank, his specific-wavelength heat lamp, his particular lettuces. Hernandez means well, and he loves his iguana, but he just doesn’t have the specialist-type of knowledge necessary to keep pet iguanas. And let’s face it: it’s just not responsible to have a pet iguana if you can’t care for it properly.

Miguel Cabrera won the AL home run title.
He hit 37 for the Tigs this season. This is a vaguely pointless ‘title’, but he beat out ARod and Carlos Quentin the Wrong Sock for it, so we can all feel good about that.

Edgar Renteria’s 2009 option will not be picked up.
THANK CATS. Look, I’ve had two seasons of watching Edgah try to hack the AL, on two different teams, and I’ve had enough of it. The guy can’t do it, he’s unhappy trying to do it, he starts playing like he’s unhappy, and the whole thing becomes a vicious cycle of ineptitude and woe. I hope he goes back to the NL and has all the success in the world out there, but I don’t want to deal with him on this side of the DH Divide anymore.

I guess we can still re-sign him as a free agent, if the madness takes us. At this point I would really almost rather go with Ramon Santiago. At least he’d come cheaper, and we’d probably get comparable production.

The Tigers have officially clinched last place in the division.
Our final record is 74-88, for a .457 percentage. At least we avoided 90 losses? Worse than the Tigers are: the Orioles, the Mariners, the Braves, the Nats, the Pirates, the Giants, and the Padres (the Reds are actually exactly tied with us, with the same W/L record). That may seem like a respectable number of teams still looking up at our tail, but those are some catawful teams, kids and kittens, so coming out of the season with a better percentage than them is nothing much.

Kansas City is not allowed to gloat. You’re under .500 too, guys. Here but for the grace of one stupid make-up game go you.

Curtis Granderson will be in-studio for the AL/NLDS on TBS.
He’ll be working pregame and postgame and probably some between-inning stuff as well, alongside Cal Ripken Jr, Dennis Eckersley (who has been a glorious studio presence on the Red Sox TV channel), and whoever TBS has hosting this thing. Because Curtis Granderson is a perfect being, he is marvelously good at this broadcast stuff, and if you were waffling about whether or not to watch these upcoming non-Tigery postseason games, well, you might want to tune in just to see Granderson a) conversing with Dennis Eckersley and b) probably wearing a suit.

If you can’t get excited about that, you can’t get excited about LIFE.

The Tigers are not in the postseason. Just in case you hadn’t noticed.
I assume that my rooting interests from here on out are clear, yes? Remember: every time you root for the Red Sox, you root for Sean Casey to be made happy. Don’t you want Sean Casey to be happy? Don’t you want him to smile? Isn’t he just the nicest guy ever? Rooting against Sean Casey is like rooting against kittens. I just want you guys to bear that in mind.

Onwards. L’shana tova to those of you celebrating the new year, and a happy stress-free postseason to the rest of you goyim.

Go Lions?

(Don’t get the New Years stuff, or the image up top? Tonight is the start of Rosh Hashana [literally ‘head of the year’], the Jewish New Years. The Jewish calendar starts earlier than the common calendar, so while it’s only 2008 in the common calendar, it’s now the year 5769 in the Jewish calendar. It’s traditional to eat apples dipped in honey on Rosh Hashana, for a sweet new year.)

Tigers sliding into the void of nothingness


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

There were exactly TWO Tigers extra-base hits in this game, and they were both doubles, and neither came around to score. Ever. The Tigers only managed to get four hits overall in the entire game.

We made Zac(h/k) Greinke look like a golden god.

Freddy Garcia gave up five runs in five innings, including three home runs.

This game was so pathetic that it was over, start to finish, in two hours and seventeen minutes.

We are right now technically in last place in the AL Central. There are only two teams in the AL with worse percentages than us: the Orioles, and the hapless Mariners.

That is not someone’s idea of a sick joke. The Detroit Tigers are

IN LAST PLACE IN THE CENTRAL
BELOW THE ROYALS
IN LAST PLACE
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE DIVISION.

On the one hand, this is clearly awful. On the other hand, though, I am almost amazed by it. I am nearly in awe. The idea that a team with the talent that the Tigers have (had?), a team with the expectations the Tigers had, is worse than the Kansas City Royals…. it is both compelling and repellent in that classic flaming train wreck kinda way.

Wednesday, 7:05 pm EDT, Nate Robertson vs. Brian Bannister vs. The Void. Go Tigers!

Tigers finally win; world, Dustin Nippert reel in embarrassment and horror


Dustin Nippert is a sad, sad Ranger. Photo by Samara Pearlstein

You’re facing a team that has lost the last billion games in a variety of awful, heart-breaking ways. You’re facing a team that has had a power deficit, a walking problem, a deliriously bad bullpen, disgustingly inconsistent and exhausted starting pitching. What do you do?

If you’re Dustin Nippert, apparently you shriek and run in the opposite direction while flailing your arms dramatically in the air.

When you pitch worse than Freddy Garcia, a guy who was basically getting a start as an ‘eh, can’t hurt, may as well see what he can do after having spent months and months and months not pitching at this level’ experiment, you probably feel pretty bad. Check it:

Freddy Garcia: 5.0 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, 3 Ks, 59 pitches.
Dustin Nippert: 4.1 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs, 5 earned runs, 4 walks, 6 Ks, 101 pitches.

Eeee-yowch. Gigantic sadface for Dustin Nippert. Of course Nippert’s bullpen backed him up, with two of the six Texas relievers who pitched tonight also giving up 5 earned runs each. The Tigers ended up scoring 17 in all – and that with only ONE home run, a three-run job by Miggy in the 6th. The Tigs managed to walk 9 times in this one. They had 10 walks in the previous three games COMBINED.

Ryan Raburn tripled in a park that WASN’T Comerica. If that doesn’t illustrate the kind of struggles the Rangers had in this one, nothing will.

Despite the crazy offensive output, despite the surprising and mildly gratifying quality of Garcia’s effort, things were not entirely good for the Tigers. How could that be, right? I mean, a cleanly played game from all quarters? UNPOSSIBLE! I am speaking of course about Nate Robertson, who came on in relief of Garcia and gave up 3 runs in 2.2 innings. Not the worst outing he’s had, not by a long shot, but in a game where the starter didn’t give up a single earned run in spite of the fact that he was probably stiffer than Gary Sheffield’s knees, it’s kind of discouraging to see a reliever give up more than that.

At least it would be if I hadn’t already reached a kind of saturation point of discouragement so far as Nate’s concerned.

The Race to .500!

… is pretty much impossible at this point. We still have 1 loss left to spare, but this win was more about delaying the inevitable than it was about helping us achieve our last and surely most pathetic goal for the season.

Thursday is an offday, and then on Friday we’re back in the real time zone to take on the Racist Logos at 7:05 pm EDT. Arrrrrmando vs. Dr. Fausto Carmona. I kind of wanted to see Armando skip this start and get some rest, because he’s seemed gassed in his last couple of starts, but I’m not the manager so whatever. Who am I to comment on what we do with our best but over-stretched pitcher at the end of a bad season in a series with basically no meaning? Tasty, tasty futility. Go Tigers!